Guest Post: Graham Parke

Mystics predicts future accurately! I’ve recently become a master in Goki Feng Ho, the ancient Chinese art of decoding license plates. It has, you can imagine, changed my life dramatically and for the better.

Like most practitioners, I’ve always had this suspicion that there’s more to life. That we can’t be mere random collections of molecules with no higher purpose than figuring out how not to soil ourselves while we keep our bodies running as long as possible. Such a view has always seemed too arbitrary to me. So, ever since I was a child, whenever I saw my initials – or part of my date of birth – pop up on a car license plate, I’d get that uneasy feeling. As if there was something I needed to do, or that I was supposed to realize. As if someone was sending me coded messages. Even at a very young age, I understood that something like Goki Feng Ho must exist, and that I was drawn to it like a moth to a particularly nice lady moth. So, I was both surprised and not-really-all-that-surprised when a friend gave me this book on Goki Feng Ho. I started reading and became hooked. Even the relatively scarce historical background was interesting to me on so many levels. Although much is lost about how Goki Feng Ho first came to the west, the stories about its initial discoverer, master Hung Lee, survive, and I dare say they’d constitute fascinating reading for even the hardened skeptic. From the early days of receiving his gift in the mail (though some claim he received it in a dream) to his struggles to find disciples to whom to pass it down, Hung Lee’s story is a heartwarming one. Obviously his life was made particularly challenging by the absence of license plates, or even cars, at the time. I have found no record of what the first Goki Feng Hoos practiced and honed their skills on, but I assume they invented plates for each other to decode, or borrowed some from the Germans. At the time, though, Chinese mystics were known to keep their gifts a secret, passing them down only to family members. Lee broke this mold when he became the first mystic to offer up his gift to the general public. But even then, the story goes, he had trouble finding anyone who was remotely interested. There are parables of Lee raffling off free Kindles and iPods among his disciples, but, again, he was too far ahead of his time. No one understood what he was talking about. He finally found a handful of willing participants at a local mental hospital, after raffling off a small pig and some sticks. And even though lived to be a hundred and fifty, it is said he never managed to earn those back.  

Bio:

Graham Parke is responsible for a number of technical publications and has recently patented a self-folding map. He has been described as both a humanitarian and a pathological liar. Convincing evidence to support either allegation has yet to be produced.
The award winning No Hope for Gomez! is his fiction debut: Boy meets girl. Boy stalks girl. Girl already has a stalker. Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.
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Guest Post: It’s the Summer of Gomez by Graham Parke

It’s the Summer of Gomez!

Get free books and win a Kindle or iPod.


As reviewers have been calling “No Hope for Gomez!” the perfect summer read – light, fast, fun – I decided to give this summer’s Gomez readers some exclusive content and the chance to win prizes.

About No Hope for Gomez!

It’s the age-old tale:

 –   Boy meets girl.
 –   Boy stalks girl.
 –   Girl already has a stalker.
 –   Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.

  
We’ve seen it all before, many times, but this time it’s different. If only slightly.

    When Gomez Porter becomes a test subject in an experimental drug trial, he is asked to keep track of any strange experiences through a blog. 

What Gomez isn’t ready for, is so many of his experiences suddenly seeming strange; the antiques dealer trying to buy his old tax papers, the phone-sex salesman who hounds him day and night, the super sexy lab assistant who falls for him but is unable to express herself in terms outside the realm of science.

   But when one of the trial participants turns up dead and another goes missing, Gomez begins to fear for his life. No longer sure who he can trust and which of his experiences are real and which merely drug induced delusions, he decides it’s time to go underground and work out a devious plan.
Read a chapter.


Nominated for Humor Novel of the Year by ForeWord Reviews, USA Book News, and the IBA Awards, here’s what reviewers have to say about “No Hope for Gomez!”:

“Extremely witty and clever writing.” — California Chronicle

“An unputdownable read. a Coens Brothers’ film in book form.” — BookReview.com

“A veritable page turner of nonstop laughs!” — Reader Views

“A Party for your Brain!” — Warren Baxter

Warning: clinical studies have shown that reading this novel is likely to make you more attractive to the opposite sex and elevate your random luck by about 9.5%**

(** These statements have not been evaluated by any person of consequence!)

With every cool summer party comes a gift bag, so here’s just some of the stuff all summer readers will get:

  • Exclusive new story collection
  • No Hope for Gomez: The Lost Chapters
  • Making of Gomez: behind the scenes eBook
  • Signed hi-res poster + bookplate

Additionally, several lucky readers will win a prize. I’m raffling off a Kindle, an iPod Nano 8GB, and five exclusive spin-off paperback novels that are not available elsewhere!

All you have to do to have a “Summer of Gomez”, is get the book from any store before July 12th 2011 and forward your receipt to nohopeforgomez@gmail.com.(Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Amazon CA, Amazon UK, Amazon DE)

Every purchase counts as an entry so increase your chances by stocking up on some extremely cool birthday presents 😉
Points towards additional entries are gained by getting your friends to join in, and tweeting/blogging/face-booking (is that a verb?) about the summer of Gomez.Tweet

Bio:

Graham Parke is responsible for a number of technical publications and has recently patented a self-folding map. He has been described as both a humanitarian and a pathological liar. Convincing evidence to support either allegation has yet to be produced.

http://www.grahamparke.com/
http://www.grahamparke.blogspot.com/
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Guest Post: Is It Like Listening To You Talk? Graham Parke

Is It Like Listening To You Talk?

As you probably know, to become an internationally best-selling author, you need to sell three books. This is not an easy task, but once you’ve managed to rack up these three sales, the rest is more or less a done deal.

Now, these sales themselves will not put you on the best-seller lists. They won’t even put you within a million spots of the bottom of the lists, but what they will do, and what they do every time, is spark a slowly growing buying frenzy that will get you there.

These three people will love your book, they will tell another five people, who in turn tell another seven. Within roughly four-and-a-half weeks, you finally make your first million.
That’s how it happens. Every single time.

But, how does an author tackle this monumental task? Where does he find these three readers?

I myself was quite lucky. When my novel appeared on Amazon I already knew over five people! What’s more, some of these people even liked me… somewhat. So I set out to become an internationally best-selling author by convincing at least three of these five people to buy my novel.

I started with my mother. Of all the five people I knew, I probably knew her the longest. I showed her my Amazon page and she nodded approvingly. She did not, however, make any attempts to buy a copy. So I logged on for her, navigated back to my novel’s page, and left the mouse pointer conveniently positioned over the BUY button.

She read the novel description again, searched-inside-this-book, and nodded some more. When I asked her if she’d like to buy a copy, she scrunched up her nose and said;

‘But what if I don’t like it?’
I told her not to worry. ‘It’s a really good book,’ I said. ‘I should know. I’ve re-written it like 50 times. It’s really funny and interesting.’
My mother wasn’t convinced. ‘I’m not really into comedy writing, though,’ she said.
‘It’s not just a comedy,’ I pointed out. ‘It has a real story; it’s a mystery. And it has twists and turns and believable characters.’
My mother hesitated. ‘Maybe I should just play it safe and buy another Stephen King novel…’

I ended up having to offer a personal money-back guarantee, and purchase a copy using my own credit card for the time being, but she finally cracked. I’d made my first sale!

Next, I prodded my wife. Although she did like words in general, she wasn’t sure she was up for reading and entire book full of them. ‘Is this like your usual stuff?’ she wanted to know.
‘What usual stuff?’
She shrugged. ‘I don’t know. Is it like listening to you talk?’
‘What’s wrong with they way I talk?’
‘Nothing. It’s just, well, sometimes you talk a lot of nonsense.’
I waved it away. ‘Don’t worry,’ I said. ‘I am much more interesting and ‘telligible’ on paper.’

Long story short; my second sale is almost in the bag. Now I just need to find one more person to buy my novel, and I’ll be set for life!

Check out the Summer of Gomez!

Get free books and win a Kindle or iPod.

As reviewers have been calling “No Hope for Gomez!” the perfect summer read – light, fast, fun – I decided to give this summer’s Gomez readers some exclusive content and the chance to win prizes.

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Author Graham Parke first ever Anit-Post

I was asked by Graham Parke to post this on my blog. I agreed. Enjoye!

Why youíd hate my weird little novel

I write this blog because my existence is in danger. My very essence as a hermit-writer-crab-thingy is being threatened. When my novel was first published, it was selling slowly and sporadically. Being a first time author, I was quite adept at going unnoticed, flying stealthily under even the most sensitive literary radars. I swooped and turned, dove and made somersaults, they could never catch me. Not even close. I was like smoke, like liquid lightening. (Only very Cool, not hot and prickly!)


But nothing lasts forever. Slowly sales started picking up. People stumbled upon my novel by accident and told their friends. Others found press releases and lists. This in turn caused Amazon Uk, Canada, and Germany to start linking my weird little novel to other weird little novels, and, to my horror, to actual works of slight-to-moderate literary significance! This had never been my intention. Things were getting out of hand!

I started getting requests for interviews, guest posts, and signed copies. Everybody with half a blog expected me to send them free copies of my novel through international mail, even though I was still more or less broke. My first reaction, of course, was one of denial.

ëDonít worry about it,í I told myself, as I clutched crucifixes of every major religion and several foam-rubber worshipping groups to my chest. ëThis will all blow over. A few more weeks and Amazon will start bothering other pretend-authors and leave me alone.í

Of course, things only got worse. There came the inevitable celebrity parties, with the drink and the drugs and, worst of all, the staying up past nine in the evenings! Who needs all that? Who can keep up? Of course, you can try to decline, but at what cost? Sooner or later celebrities will turn on you, hunt you down. I donít want Oprah to TP my house, Ron Jeremy to brutalize my mailbox, Steve Buscemi to slightly crumple my morning newspaper. Iíve seen it happen to other authors and it isnít pretty. Fair enough, I donít actually have a newspaper subscription, or a mailbox for that matter, but you get the point.

Iím not going to take this lying down, though. I have just as much right as the next closet recluse to wallow in self-pity and enjoy the painful hardships of the struggling artist. Thatís the only reason I got into this racket in the first place. So Iíve identified some of the misconceptions that may have lead to unintentional sales of my novel. Most of the hype about “No Hope for Gomez!” is not actually true:

  • Reading my novel will not make you more attractive to the opposite sex.
  • It will not cause brain damage. Not if you read it properly, keeping your head away from heavy objects at all times.
  • It will not reveal to you the meaning of life. (This is part of the prequel!)

Lastly, Iím starting a petition. Petitions always work incredibly well, often changing the world both overnight and for the better. So, sign in the comments below to help me get things back to the way they were, with just a few sales every week or so.

Bio:

Graham Parke is responsible for a number of technical publications and has recently patented a self-folding map. He has been described as both a humanitarian and a pathological liar. Convincing evidence to support either allegation has yet to be produced.
No Hope for Gomez! is his fiction debut:

Boy meets girl.
Boy stalks girl.
Girl already has a stalker.
Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.

Follow Graham’s blog here

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Coffee For The Brain Book Tournament Receives First Book Review

Last night we had our meeting with all the judges. It was a quick and swift meeting where we talked about the tournament bracket and how things would work. I strongly encouraged the judges to please write a book review for each book they read and I would post them here on the blog. I also STRONGLY encouraged them to also write up an explanation of the book they have chosen to move on to the next round. I think it is important for all of us to know their thoughts and reasons because it opens up a dialogue about what we take away from each book. Additionally, it is very important for students to learn how to write and express their ideas.

This morning I was checking my email and already a review was in my inbox. AMAZING! Talk about motivated judges. The criteria for the reviews were quite simple – write about your thoughts, what you liked, disliked, setting, characters, mass appeal, etc. Essentially, you make the review out to be however you want it to be. I did not want to force people to write if they did not want to and therefore kept everything quite open.

Here is the review from a 6th grade guest book reviewer(there was no indication to provide a name so I am leaving it out)

Title: Where the Red Fern Grows
Author: Wilson Rawls

Review

Where the Red Fern Grows is a somewhat small novel about a boy and his two dogs. Many hear that it is sad and dismiss it, but I loved it and it doesn’t fall under my favorite genre. Wilson Rawls writes amazing story about how a boy raises two very special dogs into the perfect hunting team. I had second thoughts about reading because I heard it was very sad. It wasn’t nearly as sad as I thought and I regret ever doubting the book.
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Guest Post: Graham Parke, author of the award winning comedy/suspense novel "No Hope for Gomez!"

“It’s the age-old tale:
     Boy meets girl.
     Boy stalks girl.
     Girl already has a stalker.
     Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.”

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a year since I handed in the final proofs. To celebrate this, and the fact that Gomez just became a finalist in 2010’s Best Book Awards, I decided to throw Gomez a birthday party (or a BirdDay party, as we say in the Netherlands). As I’ve had a debilitating fear of throwing parties and no-one showing up since early childhood, I’d be more than delighted if you could come! (Read more about the book here. )

Of course, with every cool international party comes a gift bag. Here’s just some of the stuff attendants will get:

  • ‘Unspent time’ exclusive short story collection
  • No Hope for Gomez: The Lost Chapters
  • Making of Gomez: behind the scenes eBook
  • Signed, hi-res poster + bookplate

(These are all exclusive items and will not be available again.)

Additionally, several lucky attendants will win a Kindle or an iPod!

You can bring as many friends as you like, just don’t bring your crazy uncle who drinks too much and then tries to get me to go to the attic with him to see something wonderful. I’ve fallen for that before and I don’t mind telling you, I came away very disappointed!

Here’s how you become a Party Go-er:
– Simply purchase your copy of No Hope from Amazon on Thursday December 2nd and forward your receipt to nohopeforgomez@gmail.com

(Of course, multiple purchases count as multiple raffle entries so get a few extra as Christmas gifts to kill several birds with one stone 🙂

An additional Kindle and iPod will be raffled among those Party Go-ers who bring the most friends to the party:
– Send your list of invited friends to the same email address so we can match them up with their receipts. You both get an additional entry.

Mystery Prize for Party Go-ers who are Bloggers or Twits:
– If you also Twitter, Blog, or Facebook about this party, your enter the Mystery Prize raffle. Use buttons on this page or the link: www.grahamparke.blogspot.com

Click the friendly buttons to tweet/track this event:


(ps: keep your amazon shipping confirmation to claim your prizes)

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